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for coming up with a simple solution to the war on poverty. cbs 5 reporter john ramos reports his idea is getting national attention even from the white house. >> reporter: a man who works in this building in oakland has an idea to fight poverty that's so simple and obvious, it's called brilliant. they are calling you a genius. so are you a genius? [ laughter ] >> our standards are way too low if this genius. >> reporter: maurice miller has been awarded a macarthur foundation genius grant for creating the family independence initiative. they bring together low income people and then do something unusual for a social service agency. they don't try to help. they let the clients think for themselves. >> there are very few programs that let that happen. funding doesn't allow that. funding requires that the organization of professionals intervenes. it starts with the other assumption. we start with, you know, if my staff intervenes, they're gone. >> reporter: that's right. he actually fired staff members who tried to offer advice. the point is to get people to come up with their own ideas o
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